When different worlds meet

When Godzilla first stalked Tokyo in 1954 (and several times since), it was a classic example of the clash of differing worlds. Usually when different worlds clash the outcome is not good.

But sometimes it can be quite comical, especially when it comes to the Jolivet Family.

Last week Emilie was on her way to class at UMD on Route 6 near the old Lincoln Park. On the other side of the road she caught a brief glimpse of a group of people clad in robes and carrying sticks.

As any good driver would, Em refused to be distracted by the unusual site and drove on. Yet in her mind she pondered what the gathering was.

As any college-aged student would do, as soon as she got to campus, she shared her tale with friends on Facebook. It should be noted here that Emilie is a “Harry Potter” junkie, having seen each of the 400 films 20 times each.

She told her friends she thinks she saw a Harry Potter Quidditch team gathered in Westport. In the HP movies, Quidditch is a sport contested in that period in which the players are dressed in robes and carry sticks (on which they fly).She was very excited, adding to her post, “I want to be in a Quidditch group.”

Some of Em’s FB friends are Portuguese and were quick to point out that it wasn’t a Quidditch group, but the Romeiros — a group of faithful Catholics who make the sacrifice to travel across the area singing, praying and visiting area churches during the Lenten season to bring awareness of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us.

True to her nature, Emilie was mortified and expressed apologies in case she offended any of her friends, by comparing a holy ritual to a game played by wizards in training.

Her friends found great humor in the error. And when she told me, I was doubled over in laughter, having done a few stories on the Romeiros for The Anchor in the past.

Emilie interns at The Anchor a couple of days a week, and the day after her Harry Potter sighting she came in the office and told me about it.

Within minutes after telling me, I heard chanting outside my office. I looked and sure enough, it was the Romeiros group.

Not being able to resist, I ran to Em’s office and told her the Quidditch team was outside. It happened that the Romeiros actually paused at a home near her car for prayer and song. She had to leave for school within minutes and looked at me and lamented, “Oh no, they’re following me — they know what I posted!”

Again my laughter glands kicked in full time. I confirmed what her friends had told her and that the group was a wonderful gathering of faithful Catholics.

I told my boss Father Richard Wilson the story, and he too, got a charge out of it. In fact when I was leaving the office that day he called my cell phone and told me to tell Em that the Quidditch team was now crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Somerset.  We both had a good laugh. Emilie, not so much.

If anything, a young woman of French-Canadian heritage learned a tradition of the ancestry of many of her friends. Hardly a Godzilla-Tokyo encounter.


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